From: [email protected]
Date: Thu, Sep 5, 2013 at 08:25 PM
Subject: I don’t see the sports law thing…
To: “AbovetheLaw Tips”
…coming tonight. On top of the first game of the season, this is a dead *$#*ing week for sports law stuff. More concussion news? Who gives a ****? I don’t. I wrote everything I’m gonna write about that crap last week. I realize you may not view my cri de coeur re: Abraham Lincoln stone genitals as the end-all-be-all on the concussion crisis, but I don’t curr. Concussion crisis? I swear I just used that formulation because it’s alliterative. Concussion crisis crab cake concubine. Christ, I’m sorry. You know I go long with these emails….
Bet you can still get through that thing to someone’s brain.
Jefferson, are you injured or are you hurt?–James Caan, The Program
Yossarian was moved very deeply by the absolute simplicity of this clause of Catch-22 and let out a respectful whistle.–Joseph Heller
A few years ago, ESPN’s Monday Night Countdown used to do this bit where their assorted chuckleheads would sit around reviewing the biggest hits the NFL’s weekend action had to offer. At the soaring crescendo of each smash, one of the giggling ninnies would shout “You got JACKED UP!!!” And everyone would dissolve into further paroxysms of laughter.
I’m not going to tell you that I knew what was being displayed on the TV was morally reprehensible back then. Quite frankly, I’ve never been on the vanguard of moral consciousness. I was recently shocked to find out that beating your pets is not only frowned upon, but deeply taboo in almost every social circle. This late life come-to-Jesus moment does nothing for Rascal, who’s still smarting over my intemperate outbursts.
The point, if there is one, is that the arc of the moral universe seems to be about as long as my patience with animals. Everyone I know is getting gay married these days, weed is damn near legal, and slobberknocking hits are now, if not wholly condemned, quietly enjoyed in the privacy of one’s home (like samizdat or BBW porn). Strange days, indeed.
Yesterday, the NFL settled a major lawsuit filed against it by former players who claimed the league had failed to protect its players in the face of mounting evidence that concussions were making them permanently stupid or crippled or sad or worse.
Another week has come and gone. We’re post Independence Day, so strap in for the long grind to Labor Day before you get any rest. If you need a break, I suppose you can take some summers for a 3-hour lunch, assuming anyone still does that.
But the real importance of the week’s end is that it’s time again to compile my look at some notable stories from the week in legal news. Bring on “5 Thing Friday” or “Working for the Weekend” or something like that.
This week, we had Justice Ginsburg’s declaration that she’s not retiring, the Zimmerman trial continued on its tragically absurd course, Vault released its annual law firm rankings, the NFL got burned in court — twice — and Harry Reid figured out that there’s this thing called a filibuster and the Republicans are really good at it…
* “The bottom line is … I’m the 800-pound-gorilla that you want to settle with.” By the way, if you weren’t sure, Howrey’s trustee Allan Diamond wasn’t kidding about suing the firm’s former partners. “Either we’re going to cut deals, or I’m suing you.” [Am Law Daily]
* It takes two to do the partnership tango: in the expansion of its Financial Institutions Group, Goodwin Procter picked up Brynn Peltz, an attorney with more than 20 years’ experience, and an ex-partner at Latham and Clifford Chance. [Fort Mill Times]
* Hello, predictive coding! Goodbye, jobs! Not only can computers do the work of lawyers on the cheap, but they can do it more intelligently, too. Get ready to welcome our new digital overlords. [WSJ Law Blog (sub. req.)]
* Another day, another op-ed article about the law school crisis in the pages of the New York Times. But at least this one is about something most can support: changing the third year of law school. [New York Times]
* As it turns out, with 82 applications for the program’s first five spots, there’s actually a demand for Yale Law’s Ph.D. in Law. So much for this being “[t]he worst idea in the history of legal education.” [National Law Journal]
* Linebacker Jonathan Vilma’s defamation suit against NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in connection with Bountygate was dismissed. Wonder when Goodell will suspend Vilma for thinking he could win. [Bloomberg]
Mirroring the profession it covers, this website has whiplashed from ecstasy to agony since its inception, from bottles and models to pink slips and loan debt. Like a rap career in reverse, the site has gone from frivolity to gritty realism in the time it took the legal market to absolutely crater. And that’s okay, really. Train wrecks can be beautiful. Like a pictorial essay of Detroit. The idea behind this column was to talk about a world immune from such harrowing turns of event. To talk about a world filled with Peter Pan syndromes who won the genetic lottery and behave as if what is owed to them is much more than just the world. You know, like young Biglaw attorneys circa 2006.
But this hasn’t been the case, sadly. This space has been the province of pedophiles and et cetera and so forth, and I’ve gotten to cover none of the Entourage-like excess that I had hoped. Today? Today we have another unemployed lawyer. Another statistic. Another godforsaken down-in-the-mouth sad sack who can’t keep a job and makes me want to cry because if he can’t keep his job, what does that foretell for my own “career” if you can even call it that — because I really can’t, I mean, why did I even go to law school in the first place? Good God and baby Jesus, was that a mistake…
This guy’s a football coach with a J.D. from Harvard. Let’s talk sports….
Ed. note: This new column is about sports and the law. You can read the introductory installment here.
Do you remember what you wrote on your law school application essay? I do. Since I knew (and know) next-to-nothing about the law, I chose to focus the theme of my essay on issues of justice and how my childhood and young adulthood had been shaped by a sort of visceral response to injustice that practically forced my hand. That literally compelled me to learn more about the law so that I could fight injustice like some fey Batman, ridding the world of evil. I must have spent days puzzling over what in my life’s experience could be offered up as proof of my worthiness to study the law. Truthfully, I couldn’t think of a single thing in my childhood that was weighty enough for this most holy of callings. A midwestern, middle class, middle-of-the-pack upbringing had left me woefully unprepared for this self-selected mission.
And so it was that a white kid from Kansas decided to say that he was drawn to the law because of the Spike Lee joint, Do the Right Thing. I might have even mentioned that I cried when Radio Raheem was murdered by New York City cops. That the feeling I had while watching a movie as a child was a clarion call to justice. That the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards my admittance to a T14 law school.
This is all to say that several years from now, some idiot very much like your humble correspondent might mention the injustice of the Seattle Seahawks victory Monday over the Green Bay Packers as the moment when he decided to go to law school.
Let’s talk sports, referees, and four-fingered rings that say LOVE and HATE.
The National Football League seems to be an unstoppable force of nature, led by a commissioner, Roger Goodell, who has managed to collectively bargain his way into being judge, jury, and executioner of league policy. NFL players often have to go outside of league offices and to United States courts to have their grievances heard, except that the NFL is just as indomitable in court as it is everywhere else.
But if you are going to defeat the NFL in court, claiming collusion is a better bet than most. The NFL has been busted for it before. And it’s really not that hard to infer when 32 or so owners get together to make a market crushing deal….
Ed. note: The Asia Chronicles column is authored by Kinney Recruiting. Kinney has made more placements of U.S. associates, counsels and partners in Asia than any other recruiting firm in each of the past six years. You can reach them by email: [email protected].
Since late last year, things have been booming in Hong Kong / China in cap markets, especially Hong Kong IPOs. M&A deal flow has recently been getting a bit stronger as well. Although one can’t predict such things with any certainty, all signs are pointing to a banner entire 2014 for the top end US corporate and cap markets practices in Hong Kong / China. This is not really new news, as its been the feeling most in the market have had for a few months now and things continue to look good.
The head of our Asia practice, Evan Jowers, has been in Hong Kong for about 10 days a month (with trips every other month to both Shanghai and Bejing) for the past 7 months, and spending most of his time there meeting with senior US hiring partners at just about all the major US and UK firms there, as well as prospective candidates at all associate levels and partner levels, and when in the US, Evan works Asia hours and is regularly on the phone with such persons, as our the other members of our Asia team. Our Yuliya Vinokurova is in Hong Kong every other month and Robert is there about 5 times a year as well. While we have a solid Asia team of recruiters, Evan Jowers will spend at least some time with all of our candidates for Asia position. We have had long standing relationships, and good friendships in some cases, with hiring partners and other senior US partners in Asia for 8 years now.
The evolution of relationships between the genders continues. Currently, in law firms, there is an interesting conundrum; balancing the desire for a gender-blind workplace where “the best lawyer gets the work and advances” and the reality of navigating the complicated maze created by the fact that, in general, men and women do possess differences in their work styles. These variations impact who they work with, how they work, how they build professional connections and how organizations ultimately leverage, reward and recognize the talents of all.
Henry Ford sat on his workbench and sighed. A year earlier, he had personally built 13,000 Model Ts with his own hands. Fashioning lugnuts and tie rods by hand, Ford was loath to ask for help. Sure, there were things about the car that he didn’t quite understand. This explains the lack of reliable navigation systems in the Model T. But Ford persevered because he knew that unless he did everything, he could not reliably call these cars his own.
“Unless my own personal toil is responsible for it, it may as well be called a Hyundai,” Ford remarked at the time.
The preceding may sound unfamiliar because it is categorically untrue. And also monumentally stupid. Henry Ford didn’t build all those cars by hand. He had help and plenty of it. Almost exactly one hundred years ago, Henry Ford opened up the most technologically advanced assembly line the world had ever seen. Built on the premise that work can be chopped up into digestible pieces and completed by many men better than one, the line ushered in an age of unparalleled productivity.
Today, an attorney refers business because he can’t do everything the client asks of him.
There are three reasons why this is way dumber than a made-up Henry Ford story…